So I was gone for two weeks -- moving, getting married, and honeymooning --and came back Saturday night to find the interwebs completely turned on its head. I read that the Pistons almost moved to Las Vegas, Patrick Hayes moved to PistonPowered, Mlive's Full Court Press is now defunct, prolific DBB commenter Boney is writing at Need4Sheed, and employees of The Federal Building were effectively terminated within the DBB comment section. And here I was thinking I'd come home to a quiet internet community sitting around a camp fire, anxiously awaiting to hear how my new wife had a Smirnoff Ice tucked between her legs when I went to retrieve her garter in front of 200 onlooking wedding guests. Nope.
Anyway, I read through every single post posted and comment commented while I was gone (1,000+) and I'm ready to plug myself back into the mix here. I've missed you all turribly.
- Pistons finished 2-3 in Summer League action and you all got a good feel for how the youngins performed while watching and reading the game threads. If you're looking for reviews of all the NBA Summer League action, head over to Ridiculous Upside. They've done a pretty good job reviewing each day.
- I was in recluse from July 10-July 17, but I was so lucky enough to catch LeBron's decision on July 8. Of course, Sports Illustrated dedicates its newest cover to the glee-some threesome. Within, Ian Thomsen dissects the whole sleezy South Beach story -- from the BFFs' 2006 All-Star weekend foreshadowing comments to 'The Decision.' Loddy da, so freakin' what, right? Well, the article gets most interesting when quite possibly our very own, Joe Dumars, anonymously weighs in:
- I wanted to re-post this from Terrence J. Lynch because (a) it's awesome, and (b) I've never seen a comment on SB Nation get 27+ recs. It's a hypothetical transcript of what Ben Wallace, who signed a two-year deal with the Pistons, would have said to LBJ if he courted Big Ben to play in Miami.
- Beating a dead horse here, but there is some serious mind blowing perspective within this answer from Keith Langlois in his latest mail bag:
Even if the three win and win big, there will be complaints that they cut corners to their parades. "I guess I'm a purist, but I believe the journey to the championship is really what it's all about," says a former star who is now a league executive, and who asks to remain anonymous because he may try to acquire one of the Heat stars if their partnership fails. "It's the heartache, the ups and downs, the winning 60 games and losing in the playoffs, and then all of a sudden the breakthrough. Winning the championship is more about the journey than it is about getting three or four guys and [saying] let's win because we're so much better than everybody else. It's like if Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain had gotten together and said, 'Let's both play together in Chicago'—what would have been the meaning of that?"Kelly Dwyer thinks it's Joe Dumars, at least. Whoever it is, I agree with him. While I do think it's cool that three stars are friends and want to play together, and it'll certainly be entertaining to watch them play together, I'd also rather see them play against each other. I also agree with Michael Jordan, the greatest competitor of all-time, who said he would have wanted to beat them, not join them.
LeBron: Hey, Ben. You know you and I were teammates back in Cleveland. We got along pretty well. Why don’t you come down to Miami, get yourself another ring.
Ben: You know, I remember when I decided to leave the city that loved me. You remember that, don’t you?
LeBron: Kinda, yeah.
Ben: And you remember how that worked out for me?
LeBron: …Not too well.
Ben: Right. One thing I learned is that no place in the world will love me as much as Detroit did. Just like no place will love you as much as Cleveland did. And I’m not about to burn that bridge twice. You can take that offer and shove it up your ass. I’ve gotten a second chance I might not have deserved and I’m not going to squander it. I’m going to give whatever I have left to help this organization that did so much for me when no one would give me a chance. And if I never see the playoffs again, so be it.
To the contrary, the events of this summer – given the money paid to players like Travis Outlaw, Amir Johnson, Rudy Gay, et al – should reinforce the notion the Pistons were right to dive into the pool last summer, when there wasn’t nearly as much money (teams with cap space) flooding the marketplace. Would you rather have Joe Johnson making $125 million or Ben Gordon making $55 million? Villanueva or Outlaw at the same price? Unless you think the Pistons were going to be the team that convinced LeBron James and Chris Bosh to not go to South Beach – can anyone picture LeBron sitting across from Jim Gray and saying, "next season, I’ll be taking my talents to Motown?" – then it seems pretty conclusive that last summer was more conducive to shopping than this one.